There have been times when I’ve unpacked the groceries, looked at what I spent and wondered how I ended up with such a small amount of food!
How about our spiritual shopping cart?
On my walk of faith, I have talked with people who have walked away from church with empty spiritual carts. Some have complaints about a pastor. Some have complaints about the congregation. I visualize them walking away pushing an empty cart.
It is easy to criticize the church, a pastor or a congregation. There is no such thing as a perfect church but I know this…there are many awesome pastors and church communities all around us! I know my pastor invests hours of prayer and preparation each week for his message. It is this time which allows him to deliver a well thought out message from his heart.
I have talked with pastors who receive emails about their messages. As if it were a performance of dancing with the pastors, they get graded and judged.
During those times when I have left church with an empty spiritual cart, it was not the fault of the pastor, the music or the congregation.
It was me.
Church is about relationship. Church is about relationship with God. When we lose that focus, it is possible to leave with an empty spiritual cart. In every church service, there is something wonderful to receive. It can happen during prayer time or during the scripture reading. God can touch our heart at any moment.
My prayer for us today is to be a gentle witness for those who have left church feeling empty. Allow God to guide us to listen to their journey. Allow God to guide us to help them focus on filling their spiritual cart with His Holy relationship.
“Many are asking, “Who can show us any good?” Let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord.”
Psalm 4: 6